I realized something recently; of the 4,329 posts on this site, only nine of them are of the incredibly historic Shaw neighborhood (and one of those is of the replacement of interstate bridges on the northern edge!). That works out to 0.002% of all posts in the almost thirteen years St. Louis Patina has existed. It’s time to change that, and I have decided this winter, when the leaves are off the mature street trees and the sun is out, to discover this neighborhood.
We’re going to start on the northeast corner of Castleman and Spring avenues, and work east, looking at this huge turreted, towering house right on the corner. See the architecture on the block to the west here.
It’s cliche to say, but I can tell that many of the original owners of these houses were German, such as the massive edifice above. But looking below, we can also see that as Shaw was being filled in during the first decade of the Twentieth Century, more and more of St. Louis residents were born in America, and a greater sense of belonging to this country was becoming evident in the architecture.
These revival styles, with their eclectic play of different influences from all over Europe, create a new feeling in these neighborhoods that now were increasingly designed for the automobile. There is no alley to the north of Castleman in between it and Shaw Boulevard, nor on the south in between it and Russell Boulevard.
So of course, there are driveways, but what I like is that the garages, designed for much smaller cars(!), are often of matching styles as their houses up front.
The brick glows, and most importantly, we begin to see different colored brick other than red on the front facades of houses.
The fire escape is a reminder that these houses were often carved up into tenements during and after World War II, when these neighborhoods were declared “blighted.” The property values have returned to their original prices, if not more.
But oh my, look at this muscular Romanesque Revival house, still showing that the style was adapting to the new trends in architecture.
The shingled third story evokes fortresses in Europe, particularly in Germany.
But then we have a more delicate version of the style, getting closer to Grand Boulevard.
After this is the parking lot for the Saum Apartments, which bookends the north side of the block facing Grand Boulevard.